Traffic heading north on Interstate 295 in Portland was backed up for about 5 miles during the height of the commuter rush hour Thursday afternoon after two cars crashed in the section of road just before Tukey’s Bridge, near the U-Haul Moving & Storage Center on Marginal Way.

State Trooper Conner Walton said the highway splits into three lanes at the point where a Ford Focus collided with a Honda Pilot. The drivers were not injured in the crash reported at 3:40 p.m.

Walton said the Pilot crashed into the median guardrail, blocking the far left lane, and the Focus spun out of control landing in the far right lane.

The highway had to be shut down to traffic for a short period, but the closure forced traffic to back up for several miles.

“The traffic jam was pretty bad,” Walton said.

It wasn’t until just before 5 p.m. that the roadway was clear and traffic was moving again. But Walton said another motor vehicle crash near the Bucknam Road exit in Falmouth, which was reported just after 5 p.m., was causing traffic to back up again.

Ted Talbot, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Transportation, which maintains that section of Interstate 295, said he was told that the accident caused a massive traffic jam in the northbound lane that stretched for about 5 miles, into South Portland and Scarborough.

Traffic had begun to clear by 5 p.m., Talbot said.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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